Lent is a season of grace. It is the invasion of grace. God takes the initiative to restore all things to Him. Lent is an intense spiritual experience. It begins with the celebration of Ash Wednesday. Ash is a powerful image reminding us that we are dust and to dust we shall return. It is to acknowledge our need of a Savior. We cannot save ourselves. We are not gods. God alone can save us. Ash is also a sign to recognize our mortality and a sign of humiliation and expression of grief. Lent calls us to remove our mask and come out into the light of goodness, love and truth. We are children of the light but we are capable of profound distortion and cruelty. The word lent comes from the old English word, lencten, which means spring, the lengthening of daylight and hours. It comes from the Latin word, lente, which means to go slow because haste makes waste. It is also the past tense of the verb lend because everything we have, is borrowed from God and we are called to return to Him everything with abundance. God is the biggest lender. The three disciplines of lent are prayers, fasting and almsgiving. Prayer is to bring ourselves into the loving presence of God and His wisdom so that we are empowered to love the way He loves. It is also to allow God to use us and transform us. Fasting is to master and discipline ourselves so that we learn to rely on God alone. It is to fast from sin, injustice, deceit, hatred and corruption. Almsgiving is to reach out to those who are hurting. It is to be imitators of Christ that is, to learn to seek not our own advantage but always the advantage of others. Lent therefore, is a time to prepare for Easter, that is to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. Death has no power over Him anymore because sin, evil, suffering and death do not have the last word. God alone has the ultimate and last word. Sin is overcome by love. Jesus said, “Repent and believe in the Gospel!” Jesus is the gospel, the good news in person. The good news is that salvation comes to us not because we are worthy and of what we have done but because God’s love is unconditional. Lent is a time to allow ourselves to be radically changed by God.